The 150-year-old Episcopal Church of the Redeemer, a gothic revival building in Boerum Hill at Fourth Avenue and Pacific Street in a severe state of disrepair, is slated to be demolished in the next year, according to Rev. Christopher Ballard of the Church of St. Luke and St. Matthew, who is in charge of the site.
Ballard shared the news at a Boerum Hill Association general meeting on Thursday evening, as reported by DNAInfo.com. The structure was partially damaged by rumblings from subways that run beside it and because there has been little effort to maintain it over the last five-plus decades years, Ballard said.
It would cost the Episcopal Diocese of Long Island, which owns the building, at least $8 million to repair the church enough for it to be inhabitable, and nearly $20 million to make it usable, Ballard said. The reverend admitted that the church has made no effort to raise money to make the repairs: “Our focus and attention has long been on keeping the walls up as opposed to serving humanity.”
In the face of declining membership and a crumbling building, the church closed down and the congregation has since begun worshipping at the Church of St. Luke and St. Matthew, at 520 Clinton Street. Meanwhile, the Church of the Redeemer building has suffered an overgrown lawn and a leaking roof.
The Diocese did not believe the church was worth repairing because the congregation has dwindled over several decades, from a congregation of about 1,500 to about 200, Ballard added. Over the next 20 months, the church will be demolished to make way for a mixed-use building, he said, with residential, commercial and religious purposes.
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